Saturday, July 31, 2010

Restaurant Reviews: Jason's Deli

The other day, a friend of mine asked me what the one thing I missed eating most since cutting gluten out of my diet. It was actually kind of a difficult question to answer. I've come to find that the cakes and brownies I can make gluten free, taste every bit as good as the ones I used to enjoy. And pasta? There are a lot of great brands out there that, again, taste pretty much exactly as I remember. But there are two things that I really do miss. One is regular old, delivery (aka Dominos and Papa John's) pizza. The other? Sandwiches.

Well thanks to Jason's Deli, I know longer have to miss the second one! Today I had the pleasure of eating a sandwich on the new GLUTEN FREE BREAD (!!!) available at Jason's Deli. When I initially read that they were going to have it, I was skeptical. I even called before I went to make sure I didn't get my hopes up to high. But I called and they knew exactly what I was talking about and assured me that they did in fact have gluten free bread.

I've now been to Jason's Deli three times and enjoyed a club sandwich, chicken salad sandwich, and a roast beef sandwich - all delicious! You are not charged any extra for the gluten free bread, and the staff is very careful to prevent cross-contamination.

Best of all? You can finish your fabulous gluten free meal off with complimentary soft serve icecream, yum!

Recipes: Cookie Dough Brownies

Thank you so much Bakerella for pointing me towards this DELICIOUS recipe! This is now one of my go-to desserts for parties and gatherings. And because fabulous Betty Crocker makes GF mixes, you can either make this one with your favorite GF cookie/brownie recipes or just substitute the gluten free versions. Check the original and GF versions out here on Betty Crocker's site:

The gluten free recipe is slightly different than the original, but I merged the two and used Bakerella's fabulous suggestion to top them with chocolate ganache. Two words: A-Mazing. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Restaurant Reviews: Taco Milagro

Taco Milagro is one of my favorite spots in town for a *relatively* healthy mexican meal. It's not your typical greasy tex-mex. Occasionally, it can be ridiculously crowded and almost club-like (Thursday nights seem to be the worst), but the rest of the time it is a great spot for a night out with the girls or a relaxed week night dinner. They have amazing sangria swirl and mango margaritas, but most importantly an impressive gluten free selection!

The managers are extremely knowledgable about gluten as one of the owners has Celiac disease. When I asked about food allergies (they actually have a sign up near the register telling you to ask) they were so helpful and let me know that EVERYTHING on their menu, with the exception of the flour tortillas and the hamburger buns (kids menu), is gluten free. They also knew all about cross-contamination.

Besides the margaritas, my favorite items are the fish tacos and the sweet potato swiss chard enchiladas, but I really don't think you can't go wrong. Also, make sure you enjoy plenty of the selection of salsas at their chips and salsa bar!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Recipes: Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

Gluten free baking is not as simple as taking a traditional gluten containing recipe and swapping rice flour for the wheat flour. Gluten adds certain properties to wheat flour and the most difficult part about gluten free baking is learning to compensate for the lack of those properties with the combination of gluten free flours you use. I've tried a number of gluten free mixes and flour blends (many of which I like), but this simple recipe is one I turn to time and again as a cup for cup substitute for all purpose flour, especially in cakes and muffins. I know these days, gluten free bakers are turning to some of the more nutritious flours, such as sorghum and amaranth, but I find that this is a much more reliable blend to simply have on hand. I recommend mixing up a batch or two and storing it in the fridge in a large ziplock bag so its ready to go whenever you need it!

*This blend works great in most cake, muffin, and quick bread type recipes, but will NOT work in traditional gluten containing bread recipes. Don't even try it, you'll be very dissapointed! Also, this blend contains xantham gum, which some people have told me in the past they feel is very expensive. You may choose to use guar gum instead, but I personally have never tried it. I would say that although xantham gum is not cheap, most recipes require a mere teaspoon, and stored in the fridge a single bag has lasted me close to a year before.


  • 2 cups rice flour (brown or white - but I prefer white)

  • 2/3 cups potato starch

  • 1/3 cups tapioca starch

  • 1 tsp xantham gum

Friday, July 2, 2010

Recipes: Mexican Vanilla Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Frosting

I was in Mexico last month and purchased some wonderful Mexican Vanilla while I was there. It smells so lovely and decadent that I have been just waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it. This weekend my mother in law asked me to make cupcakes for my father in law's 60th birthday party. While I was trying to decide on a flavor of cupcakes to make, I thought, I have to use that Mexican Vanilla! So Mexican vanilla cupcakes with dulce de leche frosting were born.

The cupcakes were the same recipe as my Very Vanilla cupcakes with a heaping extra helping of mexican vanilla extract and no vanilla beans. The frosting recipe was inspired by a wonderful salted caramel frosting I first saw on cupcake bakeshop. I made her recipe for chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting last year to rave reviews! In this case, I used the same basic recipe, substituting dulce de leche for the salted caramel. I did use about twice as much dulce de leche as is recommended and the flavor came through really nicely.

I baked the cupcakes in beautiful brown paper pannetone molds I found at Sur La Table. To use these molds, I simply arranged them on a baking sheet and filled 2/3 with batter using an icecream scoop. I kept the temperature and baking time the same. They came out perfectly and I think the pannetone papers made for an elegant presentation.

Hello Blog World!

As an avid blog reader and obsessed gluten free eater and cook, I decided it was high time I started a blog. I love to experiment and cook gluten free, but I'm also always on the look out for great new gluten free restaurants and products. The popularity of my list of gluten free restaurants on, "Gluten Free in the 713," inspired me to try to share my finds with a larger group of people. I hope a few of my recipes, restaurants, and product-finds can help others out there!